Orders of the Day — Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd May 1976.

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Photo of Mr Eric Heffer Mr Eric Heffer , Liverpool, Walton 12:00 am, 3rd May 1976

I hope that the hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Cooke) will forgive me if I do not take up his argument completely. However, I make one comment upon it. I believe that everyone wishes to see our historic buildings remain open to the public. I am not sure whether the hon. Gentleman's answer to the problem is the right one, but I hope we all accept that our fine buildings should remain open. Incidentally, they show us how over the years the rich have lived magnificently and how ordinary working people and peasants have worked to keep them living in their palaces. That is the greatest lesson that anyone gets who visits our wonderful historic houses.

I look with amazement and wonderment when I visit such places and see the beautiful objects of art. I think how they were all created by ordinary craftsmen and working people, created for the enjoyment of a few and not for the enjoyment of the many. It is a good thing that the many are beginning to enjoy these objects where previously they were shut away from them.